Sule Paya, Rangoon
This place is not to be missed.
A lovely pagoda in the centre of downtown - a place of calm in the middle of hubbub.
As an aside, when I paid my $2.00 US entry fee, they immediately ironed the bank notes :)
Located in the center of a major downtown crossroads ( Sule Paya Road and Mahabandoola Road) this 2,200 years old Pagoda is used as a milestone wich all addresses to the north are measured. An octagonal shaped pagoda with a tall golden Zedi (46 mts high) is said to enshrine a hair of the Buddha. Actually is surrounded by several small shops, a pleasant stop after visiting the crowded streets of Yangon´s downtown.
Sule pagoda is the landmark of downtown Yangon (like the Arc de Triumph in Paris) located at the junction of Sule Pagoda Road and Mahabandoola Road. This 48 meter high golden dome is said to be over 2,000 years old and said to enshrine a hair of the Buddha. The golden pagoda is unusual in that its octagonal shape continues right up to the bell and inverted bowl. It is surrounded by small shops and all the familiar non-religious services such as of astrologists, palmists, and so on. It can be reached through four entrances of the four stairways facing four cardinal directions or by two overhead bridges. Despite its significance , we decided not to get in in order to save up time for other sights
There is no doubt about it, Sule Paya must be the most beautiful traffic roundabout in the world. Standing in the middle of downtown at the junction of two major roads (Sule Paya and Mahabandoola), the 2200 year old paya dominates the surrounding area with it's golden zedi which rises almost 150 feet in the air. Unfortunately, when I visited quite a lot of it was covered in scaffolding for repair, as you can see in the photo.
Around the base of the Paya are a number of small shops.
At the weekend and in the evenings you may well be approached by English speaking students trying to engage you in conversation. It's OK, they are not actually trying to sell you anything, they genuinely just want to practice English.
Pic 1- Located right in the middle of the city, at a roundabout, this pagoda stands 46m high. Free admission, but those caretaker kept pestering for donation.
Pic 2- A colonial building just beside Mahabandoola garden. Think it is post office, if i m not wrong. Plently of sneaky locals asking tourists for money changing around this area.
Pic 3- This pic was taken on an overhead bridge at Mahabandoola Road. The crowd at 2 side of the road was terrible as everyone was just off from work. Sule Paya was right at the end of the road.
Pic 4- This paranomic pic was taken on the top floor of Sakura tower, which is located opposite of traders hotel. Top floor is actually a coffee house. But the staff there is kind enough to let me take some photo without ordering any drinks. Both Sule and Shwedagon pagoda can be seen over there. BTW, it is closed on Sun.
Likely the first temple that most people will see upon visiting Yangon it is impressive to gaze at, particularly at night. Located in the middle of a round-a-bout in busy downtown Yangon it is nearly impossible to miss this giant golden spire and often serves to give you bearings!
The temple is one of the most visited in Yangon and serves as a meeting place for many locals. It is always thriving with people but you will likely be surprised, as I was, by how few tourists you will see. it is also a place where local tour guides will come and offer their services so if you're interested just wander around and look lost, if not walk around and get lost!
Aside from the cheesy shops, fortune tellers and neon signs that welcome you to Sule the temple itself is quite beautiful and best of all admission is free! Don't forget to take off your shoes before entering the compound (No worries there is a shoe check!)
A Paya (temple) in the City of Yangon.
Because it lies in the middle of a authentic neighbourhood where people live, sell an drink tea, it's more authentic than the touristy Shwedagon out of town.
Don't do it during the hottest hours fo the day: you have to take socks and shoes off and it can be burning hot.
Sule is another biggie-- but pales in comparison t Shwedagon.
It is next to Bogyoke mkt and walking distance from Yangon river and the train station.
Met a boy when i was there-- infact he had passed out of a hotel training institute that day itself and was praying for a job.
He appeared glad to be speaking to a foreigner.
Told me Germans and Americxans do not want to speak and locals do not like them apart from their greenbacks.
Indians are always welcome.
For Good Luck you can bang the bell 3 times with the wooden stick. I need to research the 3 times for Good Luck tradition. I don't have any idea why but I just noticed that is what all of the locals did.
There are some wonderful Golden Stupas insided Sule Paya. You must remove your shoes before entering as is the case for every Paya in the country. I remember the strong smell of flowers up entering the inner circle of Sule Paya.
This is a shot of the Zedi that tops the Sule Paya. This area is considered Central Yangon. So if you're staying in the area and are wandering the streets and get lost just ask directions to the Sule Paya and you'll get back on track. Actually Yangon is a very easy city to navigate on foot. My son and I spent hours and hours just wandering and never got lost.
The Zedi is said to house a Sacred Hair Relic of Buddha.
Inside the Pagoda, people bring offers to their gods by hanging coloured scarfs over the statue.
They also give money to their Buddha's and pray.
The Sule Paya has many shrines and Buddhas that are prayed to. You will quite often see 2-3 people in the shrines at all times of the day.
In the Sule Paya you can find some of the important Buddhas and other Buddhist icons in cabinets around the inside walls.
Outside of the circular outer wall you will find many photo shops and every once in while you will see one of these Buddhas sitting in the wall.